Jaroslav Doktor


Jaroslav Doktor – bombardovací, zalétávací a dopravní pilot RAF / Jaroslav Doktor – bomber, test and transport pilot RAF.

Jaroslav Doktor se narodil 20. listopadu 1909 v Německém (dnes Havlíčkově) Brodě. Rodina se později přestěhovala do České Třebové, kde dokončil měšťanskou školu. Poté 25. července 1925 nastoupil do učení na strojního zámečníka do továrny V. Ig. Stratílek ve Vysokém Mýtě vyrábějící hasičské vybavení včetně automobilových stříkaček. Zároveň navštěvoval Živnostenskou školu pokračovací a 29. července 1928 obdržel výuční list. Práci si poté našel v pražské firmě Českomoravská-Kolben-Daněk.

Jaroslav Doktor was born 20 November, 1909 in Německý Brod (today Havlíčků Brod). The family later moved to Česká Třebová, where he completed his primary education. On 25 July 1925, he began training as a locksmith in the V. Ig. Stratílek factory in Vysoké Mýto producing firefighting equipment, including fire engines. He also attended the Continuation Trading School at the same time and on 29 July, 1928, he completed his apprenticeship. Then he went to work at the Českomoravská-Kolben-Daněk factory in Prague.

Dne 28. dubna 1930 byl odveden k základní vojenské službě, kterou nastoupil 1. října 1930 u Leteckého pluku 4 v Hradci Králové. Zde absolvoval poddůstojnickou školu a ukončil ji jako 6. nejlepší. Jeho dalším působištěm se stalo Vojenské letecké učiliště v Prostějově. Výcvik u pilotní školy elementární zahájil 3. března 1931 a ukončil ho 15. července s prospěchem „velmi dobrý“. Mezi 16. červencem a 10. říjnem 1931 absolvoval pilotní školu pokračovací s prospěchem „dobrý“ a mezi absolventy skončil sedmý. Mezitím byl 1. srpna povýšen na svobodníka letectva. Následně byl přidělen k Leteckému pluku 1 nesoucímu čestný název „Tomáše Garrigue Masaryka“, konkrétně ke 2. průzkumné letce.

On 28 April 1930, he enlisted for military service, joining the 4th Air Regiment at Hradec Králové 1 October 1930. Here he graduated the non-commissioned officer school as the sixth best pupil. He then commenced an elementary pilot training course at the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov on 3 March 1931, completing the course on 15 July with a grade “very good.” Between 16 July and 10 October, 1931, he trained at the secondary pilot school there, graduating with the grade “good” and seventh best from that course. On 1 August, he was promoted to the rank of svobodník (Lance-Corporal). Subsequently, he was posted to the 2nd reconnaissance flight of 1st Air “Tomas Garrigue Masaryk” Regiment.

Velitel letky zpočátku hodnotil Jaroslava Doktora jako velmi dobrého pilota, avšak kvůli častým problémům s kázní mezi roky 1931 a 1933 obdržel šest trestů a odpykal si rovných 100 dní vězení po službě. Poslední trest pro něj znamenal konec u letectva, 22. září 1933 mu byla odňata hodnost, na konci měsíce byl přemístěn k náhradní letce a 6. října byl vyloučen z řad létajícího personálu.

The flight commander initially assessed Jaroslav Doktor as a very good pilot, but due to frequent disciplinary problems between 1931 and 1933, he received six sentences and served exactly 100 days in military prison.This last sentence meant the end of his Czechoslovak Air Force career. He was demoted to the rank of Vojín ( Private} on September 22, 1933, transferred to reserve flight at the end of the month he and finally dismissed from the flying staff on 6 October.

Podle tzv. „reversálního závazku“ byl povinen za poskytnutí pilotního výcviku setrvat v činné službě až do 31. března 1934, čekalo ho proto přemístění k pěchotě. Od 15. října 1933 se novým působištěm voj. pěch. Doktora stala 2. rota Pěšího pluku 11 „Františka Palackého“ v jihočeském Písku. Do zálohy odešel k 1. dubnu 1934 a ve stejný den mu byl jeho kmenový útvar změněn na 11. rotu Pěšího pluku 30 ve Vysokém Mýtě. V civilu si našel zaměstnání jako mechanik ve strojírenském průmyslu. V roce 1935 se vrátil k létání a stal se učitelem létání u Masarykovy letecké ligy (MLL). V roce 1936 nastoupil k Československým státním aeroliniím (ČSA), nejprve jako mechanik a od roku 1938 létal jako dopravní pilot.

According to the so-called “reserve commitment” for being provided with pilot training, he was required to remain in military service until 31 March 1934, so he was to transferred to the Army. On 15 October 1933, Vojín Doktor joined the 2nd Company of the 11th Infantry “František Palacký” Regiment at Písek, South Bohemia. He left to the reserve on 1 April 1934, and on the same day his unit was transferred to the 11th Company of the 30th Infantry Regiment stationed at Vysoké Mýto. In civilian life, he found a job as a mechanic in the engineering industry. In 1935 he returned to flying and became a flying instructor with Masaryk Aviation League (MLL). In 1936 he joined České Aerolinie, [Czechoslovak State Airlines, ČSA], first as a mechanic and from 1938 he flew as a commercial pilot.

Průkazka Svazu letců republiky Československé Jaroslava Doktora. / Jaroslav Doktor’s identity card of Svaz letců republiky Československé.

Mezitím se 30. dubna 1936 oženil s Marií Rýdlovou a v březnu 1939 se jim narodil syn Jiří. Ačkoli měl rodinu a táhlo mu na třicet, jeho vlastenecké smýšlení bylo silnější a 13. června 1939 jako zkušený pilot s náletem 1 120 hodin přešel ilegálně hranice do Polska. Jeho příchod je zaznamenán 25. července pod evidenčním číslem 1270 s hodností vojín pěchoty v záloze. Přístav Gdyně opustil 17. srpna 1939 na palubě lodi Kastelholm, která ho 21. srpna dovezla do Boulogne-sur-Mer ve Francii. Do Francie byl přepraven po podepsání předběžného pětiletého závazku do francouzské cizinecké legie s dodatkem, že v případě vypuknutí války bude uvolněn pro potřeby českoslovenké armády. Poté v Paříži vyčkával na vstup do cizinecké legie, Francie vstoupila do války 3. září a následně byl přemístěn k letectvu. Dne 13. září, kdy byl v hodnosti Soldat přidělen na letiště Avord do výcviku na pilota bombardovacích letounů. K 1. prosinci se dočkal povýšení do hodnosti Caporal-Chef a 11. prosince následovalo přemístění na základnu Istres.

During this period, on 30 April 1936, he married Maria Rýdlová. In March 1939 their son Jiří was born and when Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia. Although he had a family and was in his thirties, his patriotic mindset was stronger, and on 13 June, 1939, as an experienced pilot with 1,120 hours flown, he illegally crossed the border into Poland. His arrival is recorded on 25 July under registration number 1270 at the Army rank of Vojín (Private) in reserve. He left the port of Gdynia on 17 August 1939 aboard the ship Kastelholm, arriving at Boulogne-sur-Mer, France on 21 August. A condition for being brought to France was enlistment into the French Foreign Legion on a five year contract, with the agreement that should war be declared, he would be released from that contract and transferred to a Czechoslovak military unit. Whilst waiting at Palace Ballard in Paris, the French Foreign Legion’s recruitment centre to join the Legion, war was declared on 3 September and he transferred to l’Arme d’Air. On 13 September, he was posted to Avord airbase for training as a bomber pilot at the rank of Soldat. On 1 December, he was promoted to the rank of Caporal-Chef, and on 11 December, he was posted to the Istres airbase.

Od 15. dubna 1940 pokračoval ve výcviku na letišti Châteauroux, odkud byla výcviková jednotka 10. června evakuována na polní letiště Tarbes. Dnem 16. června byl Caporal-Chef Doktor přidělen k operační jednotce „DASO“ na letiště Châteauroux. Podle prodělaného výcviku lze předpokládat, že byl přidělen ke Groupe de Bombardement d’assaut GBA II/35, která v té době plnila funkci operační výcvikové jednotky s letouny Breguet 693. U této jednotky měl v rámci ústupu absolvovat pouze sedm přeletů. Dne 19. června vyplul z přístavu Bordeaux na holandské lodi Karanan a o dva dny později se přistál ve Falmouthu.

From 15 April 1940, he continued with training at Châteauroux airbase, from where the training unit was evacuated on 10 June to Tarbes airfield. On 16 June, Caporal-Chef Doctor was assigned to the operational unit “DASO” at Châteauroux. According to his training, it can be assumed that he was assigned to the Groupe de Bombardement d’assaut GBA II/35, which at that time served as an operational training unit with Breguet 693 aircraft. On June 19, he left Bordeaux aboard the Dutch ship Karanan and two days later landed in Falmouth, England.

Caporal-Chef Jaroslav Doktor.

V úterý 23. července se Jaroslav Doktor v Depotu československého letectva na základně Cosford stal příslušníkem Dobrovolnické zálohy Britského královského letectva – Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve v hodnosti vojína – Aircraftman 2nd Class (AC2) pod služebním číslem 787212 a zařazen byl mezi pomocný personál. Následně byl k 24. srpnu povýšen do hodnosti Sergeant (Sgt) a v novém zařazení bombardovací pilot byl přemístěn k No. 11 Operational Training Unit (OTU) na letiště Bassingbourn. Zde ho čekalo přeškolení na dvoumotorové bombardéry Vickers Wellington.

On Tuesday, 23 July, Jaroslav Doktor joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at the Czechoslovak Air Force Depot at Cosford under service number 787212. He was traded as an Aircrafthand at the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class (AC2). On 24 August, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) and selected for training as a bomber pilot, being posted to No. 11 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Bassingbourn. There he passed conversion on twin-engine Vickers Wellington bombers.

Následně se 13. října 1940 hlásil na základně Honington, kde sídlila 311. československá bombardovací peruť RAF. Následující tři a půl měsíce se v Honingtonu a od 16. ledna 1941 na polním letišti East Wretham intenzivně věnoval výcviku na letounech Avro Anson a Vickers Wellington. V sobotu 15. února 1941 přes den Sgt Doktor zalétl Wellington Mk.IC R1015 „KX o L“, na kterém se večer v 18.34 jeho osádka vedená Britem S/Ldr Percy Charlesem Pickardem DFC vydala na svůj první operační let – bombardovat francouzský přístav Boulogne-sur-Mer. Druhý nálet osádky 23. února, během kterého Sgt Doktor letěl již jako kapitán, směřoval na stejný cíl. Od třetího náletu Doktorova osádka létala rovněž na cíle na území Německa.

On October 13, 1940, he was posted to RAF Honington airbase, where 311 Czechoslovak Squadron RAF were stationed. During next three and a half month, he underwent training on Avro Ansons and Vickers Wellingtons at Honington and from 16 January 1941 at nearby East Wretham airfield. On Saturday, 15 February, 1941, Sgt Doktor tested Wellington Mk.IC R1015 “KX-L” during the day, and later in the evening at 18.34 his crew, led by the British S/Ldr Percy Charles Pickard DFC, set out for their first operational flight – air raid on French port Boulogne-sur-Mer. The second raid on February 23, during which Sgt Doktor was flying as a skipper, took the crew to the same target. From their third raid the Doctor’s crew also attacked the targets in Germany.

Dne 26. dubna 1941 Doktorova osádka bombardovala Hamburk a při návratu měla kvůli nefunkční radiostanici problémy s navigací. Když letounu začalo docházet palivo, Sgt Doktor provedl v 03.59 přibližně 3,5 km severozápadně od obce Wetherby přistání do terénu s vysunutým podvozkem. Během výběhu se letoun postavil na příď a došlo k poškození trupu pod přední střeleckou věží. Wellington musel být rozmontován a odvezen k opravě. Kromě naraženého kolena druhého pilota Sgt Miroslava Styblíka zbývající členové osádky vyvázli nezraněni.

On 26 April, 1941, the Doktor’s crew bombed Hamburg and had problems with navigation on their return due to a malfunction of the wireless set. When the Wellington began to run short of fuel, Sgt Doktor made a forced landing, at 03.59, with undercarriage down approximately 3.5 km northwest of the village of Wetherby, Yorkshire. During the landing, the aircraft stood on its nose and the fuselage under the front turret was damaged, resulting in the Wellington having to be dismantled and taken for repair. Apart from second pilot Sgt Miroslav Styblík suffering a bumped knee, the remaining crew members escaped unharmed.

Příslušníci 311. perutě pózují oficiálnímu fotografovi při předletové přípravě, Sgt Jaroslav Doktor stojí třetí zleva s cigaretou v ústech. / Members of 311 Squadron posing for the official photographer during the briefing, Sgt Jaroslav Doktor stands third from the left with a cigarette in his mouth.

Za úspěšnou operační činnost byl Sgt Doktor 16. dubna vyznamenán Československou medailí „Za chrabrost“ a 25. dubna mu byl udělen první Československý válečný kříž 1939. K 20. červnu měl na svém kontě už třiadvacet náletů. Dne 24. června dopoledne se Sgt Doktor zranil při nehodě osobního auta v obci Croxton. Utrpěl tržné rány v obličeji, zlomeninu nosu a rovněž bylo podezření na otřes mozku. Po pobytu v nemocnicích následovala zdravotní dovolená a mezitím mu 5. července byl udělen druhý Československý válečný kříž 1939 a s platností od 1. září byl povýšen do hodnosti Flight Sergeant (F/Sgt). Do operační činnosti se F/Sgt Doktor vrátil 27. listopadu 1941, kdy s Wellingtonem Mk.IC W5711 „KX ○ H“ jako druhý pilot osádky P/O Josefa Nejezchleby bombardoval Düsseldorf. Od 22. února 1942 opět usedal do kapitánské sedačky a při svém posledním náletu 10. dubna 1942 zaútočil na Essen.

For his meritorious service Sgt Doktor was awarded the Czechoslovak Za chrabrost (For Bravery) medal on 16 April and on 25 April, he was awarded his first Czechoslovak Válečný kříž 1939 (War Cross 1939). As of 20 June, he had achieved twenty-three missions. On the morning of 24 June, Sgt Doktor was injured in a car accident in the village of Croxton, Norfolk. He suffered lacerations to his face, a broken nose, and there was suspected concussion. His stay in hospital was followed by sick leave, and in the meantime he was awarded his second Válečný kříž 1939 on 5 July, and with effect from September 1, he was promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant (F/Sgt). F/Sgt Doktor returned to operational duty on 27 November, 1941, when he bombed Düsseldorf piloting Wellington Mk.IC W5711 “KX-H” as the second pilot of P/O Josef Nejezchleba’s crew. From February 22, 1942, he took the Captain’s seat again and the target of his final raid, on 10 April 1942 was Essen, Germany.

V rámci pooperačního odpočinku se F/Sgt Doktor od 7. května 1942 podílel na výcviku nových osádek u No. 1429 Czech Operational Training Flight (COTF). Kromě Wellingtonů zde létal také na strojích Airspeed Oxford. Instruktorskou činnost vykonával opět v hodnosti Sgt, neboť 25. května byl degradován za nepovolené nízké létání dne 25. března. Od 19. srpna 1942 procházel u No. 5 Maintenance Unit (MU) na letišti Kemble přeškolením na dvoumotorových letounech Bristol Blenheim, 26. srpna následovalo přeložení k No. 20 MU na základnu Aston Down, kde absoloval na letounu Miles Master přeškolení na na jednomotorové stroje a pilotoval zde rovněž stíhací letoun Hawker Hurricane. Poté 14. září nastoupil jako zalétávací pilot k No. 51 MU na letiště Lichfield a do 1. dubna 1943 u jednotky vykonal 252 zalétnutí a 20 přeletů.

When F/Sgt Doktor finished his operational tour, he was posted to 1429 COTF (Czech Operational Training Flight) on 7 May 1942, as instructor in the training of new aircrew. In addition to Wellingtons, he also flew Airspeed Oxfords there. He served again in the rank of Sgt to which he was demoted to on 25 May for an unauthorised low flying incident on 25 March. On 19 August, 1942 he was posted to No. 5 MU (Maintenance Unit) at Kemble to pass retraining on twin-engine Bristol Blenheims. On 26 August, he was posted to No. 20 MU at Aston Down, where he retrained for single-engine aircraft on Miles Masters and also piloted Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. Then, on September 14, he was posted to No. 51 MU at Lichfield as a test pilot and there, by 1 April 1943, he had undertaken 252 tests flights and 20 transfer flights.

O jeho pilotních kvalitách hovoří skutečnost, že během služby v Lichfieldu neměl jako pilot jedinou nehodu. Avšak 5. října 1942 letěl jako cestující v Beaufighteru Mk.VI EL457 řízeném polským pilotem F/O Władysławem Radwańskim (služební číslo P-1006), který při přistání ze zalétávacího letu havaroval. Pilot vyvázl nezraněn, Sgt Doktor si poranil obě kolena.

That he did not have a single accident as a pilot during his service in Lichfield speaks highly of his pilot qualities. However, on October 5, 1942, he flew as a passenger in a Beaufighter Mk.VI EL457 piloted by Polish pilot F/O Władysław Radwański (service number P-1006), who crashed on landing from a test flight. The pilot escaped unharmed, Sgt Doktor suffered injuries to both knees.</em.

Kurz u No. 12 (P) AFU na letišti Grantham, Sgt Doktor stojí 6. zprava v zadní řadě. / Course at No. 12 (P) AFU at Grantham Airport, Sgt Doctor is standing 6th from the right in the back row..

Jelikož se měl přecvičit na nočního stíhacího pilota, byl 3. dubna 1943 poslán k No. 12 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit na letišti Grantham a od 18. května pokračoval ve výcviku u No. 54 OTU letiště Charterhall. Zde utvořil osádku s radarovým operátorem Sgt Bedřichem Kružíkem a létal na letounech Bristol Beaufort a Beaufighter, avšak výcvik nedokončil. Dne 21. srpna 1943 byl převelen k No. 1 Aircraft Delivery Flight (ADF) na letiště Croydon. Mezitím byl se zpětnou platností od 1. května 1943 jmenován do důstojnické hodnosti Pilot Officer (P/O) a služební číslo mu bylo změněno na 149786.

He was selected to be trained as a night fighter pilot, and on 3 April 1943, posted to No. 12 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit at Grantham. From there, on 18 May, for further training at No. 54 OTU at RAF Charterhall. Here he formed a crew with the radar operator Sgt Bedřich Kružík and flew Bristol Beauforts and Beaufighters, but did not complete the training course. Instead, on 21 August 21, 1943 he was posted to No. 1 ADF (Aircraft Delivery Flight) at RAF Croydon. In the meantime, with effect from 1 May 1943, he was commissioned at the rank of Pilot Officer (P/O) and his service number was changed to 149786.

První úkol u No. 1 ADF ho čekal 14. září – přelétnout z letiště Hornchurch Mustang Mk.I AG356 náležící No. 239 Squadron k No. 430 Squadron do Gatwicku. Krátce po startu v 16.45 s ním však havaroval kousek od letiště na pozemku Dovers Farm u Rainhamu. Dokázal se dostat z kokpitu dříve, než letoun zachvátily plameny, a s poraněnými lokty a koleny byl převezen do nemocnice Rush Green Hospital v Romfordu.

His first assignment with No. 1 ADF on 14 September – to fly Mustang Mk.I AG356 belonging to No. 239 Squadron from Hornchurch to No. 430 Squadron to Gatwick. Shortly after takeoff at 16.45 he crashed in a short distance from the airport at Dover’s Farm near Rainham, Essex. He managed to get out of the cockpit before the plane was engulfed in flames, and with injured elbows and knees he was taken to Rush Green Hospital at Romford, Essex.

K No. 1 ADF se vrátil teprve v polovině února 1944, to už měl hodnost Flying Officer (F/O). Následně 29. února odjel k No. 105 (Transport) OTU na základnu Bramcote, aby se přeškolil na službu u Velitelství dopravního letectva RAF. Výcvik na Wellingtonech s ním absolovala osádka ve složení navigátor F/O Miroslav Laštovka a radiotelegrafista F/Lt Jaroslav Liška. Dne 6. června 1944 se osádka hlásila u No. 511 Squadron na letišti Lyneham. Na první samostatný dálkový let na dvoumotorových letounech Douglas Dakota C Mk.III po trase Lyneham – St. Mawgan – Gibraltar – Castel Benito – Cairo West – Shaibah – Sharjah – Mauripu – Santacruz – Yellahanka – Ratmalana se jeho osádka vydala 24. července a do cíle dorazila 9. srpna. Druhý den vzlétla k návratu a po deseti dnech přistála v Lynehamu. Jelikož od července 1944 vyměnila No. 511 Squadron Dakoty za čtyřmotorové letouny Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express a druhým používaným typem nadále zůstal čtyřmotorový Avro York C Mk.I a F/O Doktor doposud neprošel přeškolením na kapitána čtyřmotorových strojů, mohl na nich létat pouze jako druhý pilot.

He returned to No. 1 ADF in mid-February 1944, having now achieved the rank of Flying Officer (F/O). Subsequently, on 29 February, he was posted to No. 105 (Transport) OTU at RAF Bramcote to retrain for service with RAF Transport Command. He was trained on Wellingtons with crew consisting of navigator F/O Miroslav Laštovka and wireless operator F/Lt Jaroslav Liška. On 6 June 1944, the crew reported to No. 511 Squadron at Lyneham. His crew set out for their first long-distance flight (Lyneham – St. Mawgan – Gibraltar – Castel Benito – Cairo West – Shaibah – Sharjah – Mauripu – Santacruz – Yellahanka – Ratmalana) on a twin-engine Douglas Dakota C Mk.III on 24 July and arrived to the final destination on 9 August. The next day the crew took-off for their return flight to Lyneham, where they landed ten days later. Since July 1944, Dakotas were being replaced by four-engine Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express aircrafts at No. 511 Squadron and the second aircraft type used were four-engine Avro York C Mk.I. As F/O Doktor has not yet been retrained as a Captain of four-engine machines, he was only to fly as a co-pilot.

F/O Jaroslav Doktor.

Dne 6. listopadu 1944 následovalo převelení k No. 167 Squadron, kde se Doktorova osádka přeškolovala na dvoumotorové letouny Vickers Warwick C Mk.I a III. Kvůli častým poruchám peruť trpěla nedostatkem letuschopných strojů, a proto byla 1. ledna 1945 Doktorova osádka dočasně přemístěna k No. 147 Squadron do Croydonu. Zde na Dakotách C Mk.III do poloviny února vykonala tři dopravní lety do Paříže a po jednom do Marseille a Bruselu. Zpět u No. 167 Squadron se osádka hlásila 16. února a pokračovala ve sporadickém létání na letounech Warwick a přestěhovala se s jednotkou na základnu Blackbushe. Jejím jediným operačním letem u jednotky se 4. dubna stal přelet Warwicku C Mk.III HG227 z Istres do Blackbushe. Dne 28. dubna F/O Doktor zamířil k No. 11 Ferry Unit (FU) na letiště Talbenny.

On 3 November 1944, Doktor and his crew was posted to No. 167 Squadron, where their retraining on twin-engine aircraft Vickers Warwick C Mk.I and III was started. Due to frequent failures, the squadron suffered from a lack of airworthy machines, and therefore on 1 January 1945, Doktor and his crew was temporarily assigned to No. 147 Squadron to Croydon. Flying Dakotas C Mk.III the crew carried out three transport flights to Paris and one each to Marseille and Brussels till mid-February. The crew reported back at No. 167 Squadron on 16 February and continued with sporadic flying on Warwick aircraft and also moved with the unit to Blackbushe. The only operational flight he made with this unit was the transfer flight of Warwick C Mk.III HG227 from Istres to Blackbushe on 4 Apri. On 27 April, F/O Doktor was posted to No. 11 FU (Ferry) at Talbenny.

U No. 11 FU během června 1945 vykonal jedenáct letů, když s trojčlennou osádkou na Wellingtonech Mk.X vozil cestující mezi základnou a letišti Bramcote, Lyneham a Llandow. V červenci se vypravil třikrát na zahraniční trasy Talbenny – Marseille – Neapol a zpět, Talbenny – St. Mawgan – Gibraltar a zpět, Talbenny – Istres a zpět. Návrat z Istres dne 13. července 1945 byl jeho posledním letem ve službách RAF.

At No. 11 FU, he made eleven flights during June 1945, when carrying passengers with a three-member crew on Wellingtons Mk.X between Bramcote, Lyneham and Llandow airfields. He flew three times on oversea routes in July: Talbenny – Marseille – Naples and back, Talbenny – St. Mawgan – Gibraltar and back, Talbenny – Istres and back. The return from Istres on 13 July 1945 was his last flight in RAF service.

Nastoupil léčení úrazů utrpěných během války a od 19. září 1945 veden ve stavu československého depotu v Cosfordu s tím, že je ve stavu nemocných a vyčkává na repatriaci. Do Prahy přilétl 16. listopadu 1945 v 15.50 na palubě Liberatoru GR Mk.VI EW295 „PP ○ E“ 311. perutě s osádkou F/O (npor. let.) Arnošta Jedounka. Ve vlasti byl por. let. Doktor přidělen k Leteckému náhradnímu pluku 1 sídlícímu na letišti Praha-Kbely.

He commenced treatment of injuries he had suffered during the war and from 19 September 1945 he was posted to the Czechoslovak depot at Cosford, with the remark that he was ill and awaiting repatriation. He arrived in Prague on 16 November 1945, at 15.50 aboard No. 311 Squadron Liberator GR Mk.VI EW295 “PP- E” with Captained by F/O Arnošt Jedounek. After return to his homeland Lt. Doctor was posted to the 1st Air Reserve Regiment based at Prague-Kbely.

Průkazka ČSA Jaroslava Doktora z roku 1946. / ČSA id card for Jaroslav Doktor,1946.

Následně 31. Ledna 1946 demobilizoval a nastoupil jako dopravní pilot k ČSA. Dne 6. března vyznamenán Československou medailí „Za zásluhy“ I. stupně. Poprvé letěl 9. dubna jako druhý pilot s kapitánem Stanislavem Huňáčkem na Junkersu Ju 52 OK-TDI s patnácti cestujícími po trase Praha – Bratislava. Jeho premiérou na zahraničních tratích se 17. května stal let do Curychu na Ju 52 OK-ZDO s kapitánem Ladislavem Světlíkem. Poté přešel na Dakoty a jako druhý pilot létal do Amsterdamu, Bruselu, Londýna či Paříže. Jako kapitán letěl poprvé 6. září s Dakotou OK-XDG do Bruselu. Před koncem roku 1946 se mu dostalo dalších ocenění za válečnou službu – 5. října byl vyznamenán třetím a zároveň i čtvrtým Československým válečným křížem 1939.

On 31 January 1946, he demobilised and re-joined ČSA as a commercial pilot. On 6 March, he was awarded the Czechoslovak Za zásluhy (Medal of Merit) grade I. He flew for the first time on 9 April as a co-pilot with Captain Stanislav Huňáček on a Junkers Ju 52 OK-TDI with fifteen passengers on the route Prague – Bratislava. His maiden flight on a foreign route was the flight to Zurich on the Ju 52 OK-ZDO with Captain Ladislav Světlík on 17 May. He then moved to Dakotas and as a co-pilot flew to Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris. He flew for the first time, as a Captain, on Dakota OK-XDG to Brussels on 6 September. Before the end of 1946, he received other awards for his war military service – he was awarded his third and fourth válečný kříž 1939 (Czechoslovak War Cross 1939), both on 5 October.

V roce 1947 přidal na seznam zahraničních destinací Atény, Bělehrad, Brindisi, Hamburk, Káhiru, Kodaň, Oslo, Řím, Tel Aviv, Zadar či Záhřeb a pilotoval prakticky všechny Dakoty ve flotile ČSA. V únoru 1948 se mu narodila dcera Jaroslava, ale jinak pro něj „Vítězný únor“ nevěstil nic dobrého. Po návratu z Londýna dne 25. února až do 10. března nelétal, potom se ale směl vrátit na zahraniční tratě. Zlom nastal 11. července 1948, kdy byl po návratu z Londýna „uzemněn“. Do vzduchu mu bylo dovoleno se vrátit až 1. listopadu 1948, avšak jen na vnitrostátní tratě a pouze s ozbrojeným příslušníkem Sboru národní bezpečnosti na palubě.

In 1947, he added Athens, Belgrade, Brindisi, Hamburg, Cairo, Copenhagen, Oslo, Rome, Tel Aviv, Zadar and Zagreb to his list of foreign destinations and flew virtually all the Dakotas in the ČSA fleet. In February 1948, his daughter Jaroslava was born, but otherwise the “Victorious February” – the Communist take-over of Czechoslovakia – did not bode anything good for him. After returning from London on 25 February, he did not fly again until 10 March, but then he was allowed to return to flying foreign routes. The turning point came on 11 July 11 1948, when he was “grounded” after returning from London. He was not permitted to resume flying until 1 November, 1948, but only on domestic routes and only with an armed member of the Sboru národní bezpečnosti (National Security Corps) on board.

Dakota OK-WDA, kterou Jaroslav Doktor pilotoval 17. června 1946 jako druhý pilot na lince do Amsterdamu a jako kapitán na něm prvně letěl 7. září 1946 do Bruselu. / Dakota OK-WDA, which Jaroslav Doktor piloted on 17 June 1946 as a second pilot on the route to Amsterdam and for the first time as a captain to Brussels on 7 September 1946..

Definitivní „uzemnění“ přišlo 28. dubna 1949 po návratu z Košic a 30. září 1949 byl z ČSA vyhozen. Následně ho Ministerstvo národní obrany 9. prosince 1949 vyrozumělo, že byl degradován na vojína v záloze. Jako bývalý letec RAF měl problém sehnat zaměstnání, teprve 30. května 1950 nastoupil do komunálního podniku Autoslužba hlavního města Prahy na pozici soustružník – brusič válců. V dubnu 1958 přešel do funkce referenta v oddělení bezpečnosti práce na ředitelství podniku Autoopravny hlavního města Prahy, odkud 1. dubna 1966 odešel do důchodu. Mezitím 15. listopadu 1963 odeslal na Ministerstvo národní obrany žádost o rehabilitaci, byla mu navrácena hodnost a byl dále povýšen na majora letectva ve výslužbě. V roce 1968 se v roli poradce podílel na natáčení filmu „Nebeští jezdci“ a v jedné ze scén si zahrál důstojníka RAF kráčejícího v pohřebním průvodu.

The final “grounding” came on 28 April 1949 after his return from Košice and on 30 September 1949 he was dismissed from ČSA. On 9 December 1949, the Ministry of National Defense informed him that he had been demoted to the rank of a Private in reserve. As a former RAF pilot, he had a problem finding a job, only on 30 May 1950, he joined the municipal company Autoslužba in Prague in the position of a machine operator – cylinder grinder. In April 1958, he was anle to get new employment as a clerk in the Department of Safety at Work at the headquarters of the Autoopravna company in Prague, from where he retired on 1 April 1966. On 15 November 1963, he sent a request for rehabilitation to the Ministry of National Defense, his previous rank was re-instated and received a further promotion to Major (retired). In 1968 he participated as a consultant in the filming of “Nebeští jezdci” [Riders in the Sky] film and in one of the scenes, he played an RAF officer walking in a funeral procession.

Jaroslav Doktor.

Jaroslav Doktor, který nalétal přes 4 562 hodin v kokpitech více než pětapadesáti různých typů letadel, zemřel 13. srpna 1986.

Jaroslav Doktor, who had flown over 4,562 hours in the cockpits of more than fifty-five different types of aircraft, died on 13 August 1986.

V rámci politických a morálních rehabilitací byl 17. června 1991 povýšen do hodnosti plukovníka letectva in memoriam. Z britských vyznamenání obdržel 1939–1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star se sponou France & Germany, War Medal a Defence Medal. Na jaře 2015 jeho rodina obdržela ještě sponu „Bomber Command“ k 1939–1945 Star.

As a part of political and moral rehabilitation, he was promoted, in memoriam, to the rank of plukovníka [Colonel] on 17 June 1991. The British awards he received were the 1939–1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star with France & Germany Clasp, War Medal and Defense Medal. In the spring of 2015, his family received the Bomber Command Clasp for his 1939–1945 Star.

Více podrobností o životě Jaroslava Doktora si můžete přečíst v třídílném článku „Nebeský jezdec Jaroslav Doktor“, který vyšel v češtině v časopise REVI (č. 123, 124 a 125).

More details about Jaroslav Doktor’s life can be found in the three-part article ” Nebeský jezdec Jaroslav Doktor ” published in Czech in REVI magazines (issues 123, 124 and 125).

© Pavel Vančata 2021

Posted in 311 Sqd, Biography, Not Forgotton | 4 Comments

SPIA Remember the fallen Czechoslovak RAF airmen


SPIA uctili památku Čechoslováků padlých v řadách RAF


After a years absence due to Covid 19, it was pleasing to see that the SPIA Czechoslovak Legionnaires delegation, led by Tomáš Sláma, arrived back to the UK to participate in the Remembrance Day parade on Sunday 14 November 2021.

Po roční přestávce z důvodu Covid-19 bylo potěšující, že delegace SPIA Czechoslovak Legionnaires vedená Tomášem Slámou, přijela 14. listopadu 2021 znovu do Británie, aby se zúčastnila přehlídky ke Dni válečných veteránů.

For their short visit they had a very busy schedule. On Saturday 13 November, it was remembering the fallen Czechoslovak RAF airmen at various locations in, or near London.

Jejich krátká návštěva měla velmi nabitý program. V sobotu 13.11.2021 proběhly na piety za padlé československé letce RAF na několika místěch, jak v Londýně samotném, tak v jeho okolí.

Their first location was the Bomber Command Memorial, near Green Park. This memorial remembers the 55,573 members of RAF Bomber Command who lost their lives whilst serving in RAF Bomber Command during WW2. Of these fallen airmen, 112 of them were Czechoslovak who had served in 311 Sqn. A wreath was laid to commemorate them.

Prvním místem byl pomník Bomber Command u Green Parku v Londýně. Na památníku jsou jména 55 573 příslušníků Bomber Command RAF, kteří v jeho službách padli za druhé světové války. 112 z nich byli Čechoslováci, kteří sloužili u 311. perutě. K uctění jejich památky zde byl položen věnec.

Next location was the Battle of Britain Memorial, at Westminster Embankment. This memorial commemorates the names 2,938 Allied airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain between 10 July 1940 to 31 October 1940, 544 of them lost their lives during that battle. The names of 88 Czechoslovak airmen are listed on the memorial in the ‘Czechoslovak’ section, 8 of whom were killed in this battle. A wreath was laid to commemorate them.

Další zastávkou, byl na westminsterském nábřeží. Připomíná jména 2 938 spojeneckých letců, kteří prošli boji bitvy o Británii mezi daty 10.7.1940 a 31.10.1940. 544 z nich v ní zaplatilo svým životem. V československé sekci je uvedeno 88 jmen našich letců. Osm z nich v bojích zahynulo. K uctění jejich památky zde byl položen věnec.

Final location for Saturday was to Brookwood Cemetery, a 50 minute train journey from London Waterloo railway station. A highlight of the visit at Waterloo was a PR promotion for a new brand of beer being launched – for free! An initiative very much welcomed by the SPIA delegation!

Posledním sobotním navštíveným místem byl hřbitov v Brookwoodu, přibližně 50 minut cesty vlakem z londýnského nádraží Waterloo. Vrcholem zastávky na nádraží Waterloo bylo představení nového piva s ochutnávkou zdarma. Tuto akci delegace SPIA velmi uvítala!

At CWGC Brookwood, an informal wreath laying ceremony took place, to commemorate the 50 Czechoslovak WW2 graves located there.

Na CWGC Brookwood proběhla neformální vzpomínka s položením věnců u padesáti hrobů československých válečných letců.

There was a short guided tour which included the post WW2 Czechoslovak military graves which are in the civilian section of Brookwood Cemetery, and then to visit the grave sections of the other nationalities who are interred in the CWGC cemetery at Brookwood.

V rámci piety delegace navštivila československé vojenské hroby z 2. světové války, které se nachází v civilní části brookwodského hřbitova a také hroby příslušníků jiných národností, které jsou také umístěny na hřbitově v Brookwoodu.

Sunday 14 November was an early start for the group, from their hotel in Ilford, to Horse Guards Parade to get checked in for their march and assembly in section ‘D’ for the march. Brigadier General Beran and CWO Kašpar, from the Czech Embassy Defence Office, joined the SPIA group for the march as did Chris and Georgina Pavel from the Czechoslovak Freedom Fountain project at Leamington Spa. During the march, a wreath was laid at the Cenotaph in remembrance of the Czechoslovak who had lost their lives in WW2 as well as the 30 Czech soldiers and airmen who had lost their lives in more recent conflicts.

V neděli 14. listopadu čekal skupinu SPIA časný začátek dne. Z hotelu v Ilfordu skupina zamířila na Horse Guard Parade, aby se zaregistrovala a připravila na slavnostní pochod v sekci „D“. Zde se ke skupině přidali jak také brigádní generál Beran a jeho asistent, CWO Kašpar z československé ambasády, tak Chris a Georgina Pavel z projektu Czechoslovak Freedom Fountain z Leamington Spa. V průběhu přehlídky položili věnec u Cenotaphu a připomněli tak Čechoslováky, kteří padli ve druhé světové válce, stejně jako dalších třicet dalších Českých příslušníků, kteří padli v pozdějších konfliktech.

After the march it was then onto Westminster to the Garden of Remembrance, where personalised Remembrance cross’s were laid by the members of the SPIA delegation to commemorate their 30 comrades who had been lost in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia on NATO deployment.

Po přehlídce delegace zamířila do Garden of Remembrance (Zahrada vzpomínek) ve westminsterském opatství, kde umístila 30 personalizovaných pietních křížků se jmény spolubojovníků, kteří padli v zahraničních misích NATO v Afganistánu, Iráku a Bosně.

At the Westminster Garden of Remembrance. – Ve Westminsterské ‘Zahradě vzpomínek’.

Monday 15 November, was the final day of the visit with a morning reception at the Czech Embassy, hosted by Brigadier General Vratislav Beran CWO Tomáš Kašpar of the Embassy’s Defence Office. Attending the reception was Ambassador H.E. Marie Chatardová, members of the DASSA group from the Defence Offices of various Embassies, some descendants of Czechoslovak WW2 veterans and other parties interested in WW2 Czechoslovak activities.

V pondělí 15. listopadu a poslední den návštěvy se delegace zůčastnila dopoledne dopolední recepce na české ambasádě pořádané brigádním generálem Vratislavem Beranem a jeho asistentem, štábním poručíkem Tomášem Kašparem. Zúčastnila se jí také velvyslankyně České republiky, Její excelence Marie Chatardová, členové skupiny DASSA z úseku přidělenců obrany dalších ambasád, několik potomků československých druhoválečných veteránů a další lidé zapojení do aktivit spojených s našimi veterány.

During the reception, on behalf of SPIA, Tomáš Sláma presented Ambassador H.E. Marie Chatardová, Brigadier General Vratislav Beran and CWO Tomáš Kašpar with commemorative medals, and SPIA member Josef Slavik presented them with bottles containing ‘interesting’ liquid from his distillery.

V průběhu recepce předal Tomáš Sláma za SPIA velvyslankyni Marii Chatardové, brigádnímu generálu Vratislavu Beranovi a štábnímu poručíku Tomáši Kašparovi pamětní medaile a další člen SPIA, Josef Slavík, jim předal dárek ve formě lahví se “speciálním” nápojem ze své pálenice.

Opening the reception was a short speech by new Czech Ambassador H.E. Chatardová. The Ambassador and Brigadier General Beran then unveiled a painting by and Guernsey-based figurative artist Sally Ede-Golightl depicting F/O Jaroslav ‘Yardeskie’ Novak. He had been shot down in the sea off Guernsey on 14 May 1943.

Recepci zahájila krátkým proslovem nová Česká velvyslankyně, Její excelence Marie Chatardová po které spolu s brigádním generálem Beranem odhalili kresbu Guernsey, vytvořenou figurativní malířkou Sally Ede-Golighti, zobrazující F/O Jaroslava „Yardeskie“ Nováka, který u tohoto ostrova padl 14. května 1943, když byl jeho letoun sestřelen do moře.


F/O Jaroslav ‘Yardeskie’ Novak, by Sally Ede-Golightly. – F/O Jaroslav ‘Yardeskie’ Novák od Sally Ede-Golightly.

Earlier in the year the Czech Embassy had been contacted by the UK based Anthony Shorter regarding the identification of a Czechoslovak airmen who had befriended his mother during WW2 and had presented her with a painting. Some few months of extensive research in the Czech Republic and with FCAFA in the UK, identified that the airman in question had been Josef Richter.

Počátkem roku se na naši ambasádu obrátil Anthony Shorter ve věci identifikace československého letce, který byl za druhé světové války přítelem jeho matky a daroval jí obraz. Po několika měsících usilovného pátrání v Česku, a prostřednictvím FCAFA také v Británii, byl tento letec identifikován jako Josef Richter.


The painting inscribed on the back ‘To máš ode mě od Ježíška, Josefe. Vláďa Kučera.’ – Kresba s věnováním na zadní straně: ‘To máš ode mě od Ježíška, Josefe. Vláďa Kučera’


The research into identifying the mystery airmen. – The research into identifying the mystery airmen. – Pátrání, které vedlo k identifikaci tajemného letce.

From the Embassy, next location was the nearby Portland Place, where a commemorative plaque is located to commemorate the planning of Operation Anthropoid – the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague.

Další zastávkou po ambasádě bylo nedaleké Portland Place, kde je umístěna pamětní deska připomínající operaci Anthropoid – útok na Reinharda Heindricha, přezdívaného ”pražský řezník”.

Portland Plaque.


Final location for this visit was the nearby Memorial Wall where Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš were photographed prior to Operation Anthropoid.

Poslední zastávkou této návštěvy byl nedaleká Pamětní zed, u které se fotografovali Jozef Gabčík a Jan Kubiš před operací Anthropoid.

Memorial Wall at Portland Place for Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. – Pamětní zeď Jozefu Gabčíkovi a Janu Kubišovi na Portland Place.


SPIA delegation leader Tomáš Sláma, finally able to relax after a demanding day in London. – Vedoucí delegace SPIA Tomáš Sláma si konečně po náročném dni v Londýně mohl oddechnout.


Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Battle of Britain, Cemetries, Ceremony, Memorial, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

 Den veteránů 11.11.2021. 


The fallen Czechoslovak RAF airmen remembered for Armistice Day 11.11.2021.

Padlí českoslovenští letci, příslušníci RAF, byli připomenuti na Den válečných veteránů, 11.listopadu 2021.


Bahamas:


Czech Republic:


Prague – Winged Lion Monument





Egypt:


el-Alamein Memorial:




UK:


Brookwood



Duxford


310 Sqn Memorial Plaque, Duxford.


310 Sqn – John Boulton, Memorial plaque, Duxford.


310 Sqn – Gordon Sinclair, Remembrance panel, Duxford.


East Wretham


Evanton




Hawkinge



Honington



London:


London – Battle of Britain Memorial



London – Bomber Command Memorial



London – The Cenotaph



Tain:




Whittlesford

Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Ceremony, Events, Memorial, Not Forgotton, Other RAF Squadrons | Leave a comment

Remembrance 11.11.2021.


Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Not Forgotton, Other RAF Squadrons | Leave a comment

Liberator 995 se nevrátil



Liberator 995 se nevrátil




311. čs. bombardovací peruť RAF a příběh osmi letců osádky kapitána Otakara Žanty


od


František Adamec



311. československá bombardovací peruť RAF byla v období druhé světové války jedinou československou bombardovací jednotkou, která operačně působila z území Velké Británie. Od září 1940 do dubna 1942, v rámci britského Velitelství bombardovacího letectva, ničila cíle v Německu, Itálii a na Německem okupovaných územích. Následně až do konce války v roce 1945 – v sestavě Velitelství pobřežního letectva – plnila úkoly námořního průzkumu a protiponorkového boje.

Na pozadí bojové činnosti 311. perutě kniha zachycuje dramatické životní příběhy osmi československých letců, včetně rekonstrukce jejich osudového letu 13. března 1944, široce informuje o letounech Consolidated Liberator, kterými byla peruť od léta 1943 vyzbrojena, a pojednává také o leteckých základnách RAF Beaulieu a Predannack na jihu Anglie i životě letců v těchto místech. Podrobně popisuje rovněž operační činnost perutě s důrazem na systematické zpracování všech 43 útoků na ponorky a utrpěné ztráty osob a letadel.

K unikátním, dosud nikdy nepublikovaným údajům patří analytické zhodnocení bojových možností letounu Consolidated Liberator při námořním průzkumu a ničení ponorek a přesný grafický zákres a popis všech útoků na ponorky provedených perutí v oblasti Biskajského zálivu a východního Atlantiku. Naprostou novinku představují tzv. kmenové listy, obsahující detailní informace o celkem 62 jednotlivých letounech Liberator verze GR.Mk.V a Mk.VI i podrobná chronologie činnosti perutě od dubna 1942 do konce roku 1944.

Vydavatel :
Publisher :
Nakladatelství Epocha s.r.o.
ISBN: 978-80-278-0041-4
Format:
Počet stran
Vázaná kniha, 696 stran, 24 stran fotopřílohy
Hardback, 696 pages, 24 pages of photographs
Language:
Jazyk
Česky
Czech
Published:
Publikováno
18.říjen 2021
18 October 2021
Price:
Cena
699 Kč
Posted in 311 Sqd, Books | Leave a comment

Emil Fechtner – † 29.10.40.


_______________________________________________________________

An biography for him here

Jeho českou a anglickou biografii najdete zde

_______________________________________________________________


Posted in 310 Sqd, Anniversary, Battle of Britain, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Vilem Goth – † 25.10.40.


_______________________________________________________________

An biography for him here

Jeho českou a anglickou biografii najdete zde

_______________________________________________________________


Posted in Anniversary, Battle of Britain, Not Forgotton, Other RAF Squadrons | Leave a comment

MUDR Zdenek Vitek – 06.11.21.



Posted in 310 Sqd, Forthcoming Events | Leave a comment

Miloslav Mansfeld – One of the Few




Miloslav MANSFELD




One of the Few


…………….* 14.12.1912, Dalovice.

…………….† 21.10.1991, London, UK.




The Early Years

Miloslav Jan Mansfeld was born on 14 December 1912 in Dalovice, a village near Mladá Boleslav, about 30 miles north east of Prague. In 1914, his father Jan died of cholera in Galicia on the Russian front in WW1; this caused Albina, his widowed mother, to start a greengrocery business in Německý Brod so that she could support herself and Milslav. Albina remarried and with her new husband Alois masek, ran a pub at the railway station at Zelenč, on the Eastern side of Prague. On completion of his education, instead of joining his mother’s business, Miloslav began training as a car mechanic at at Merrel’s a Škoda car dealer in Prague, but soon he aspired to become an airman.

Czechoslovak Air Force

In October 1930, having reached the age of 18, Miloslav joined the Czechoslovak Air Force as a cadet at the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov, where he trained as a pilot in two-seater biplanes.

On 1 July 1932, on completion of his training, having achieved the rank of četař (Sgt), he was posted to the 72nd Squadron of the 6th Air Regiment at Milovice. Between May and June 1934 he returned to the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov for fighter pilot training. He completed his training and on 1 July 1934 was posted to the 91st Night Fighter Squadron of the 6th Air Regiment at Prague-Kbely airbase which was equipped with Letov S16 aircraft.

Between May and June 1935 he attended a night-flying course at the airbase. On 1 April he was assigned as an instructor to the Regiment’s Training Squadron. Whilst Czechoslovakia had a thriving aviation industry for its Air Force, they did not produce bomber aircraft and so Russian SB-2 bombers were purchased.. During 1937 Miloslav travelled six times to Russia to ferry twin-engined SB-2 bombers back to Czechoslovakia , where they entered military service as Avia B71s. From 1 January 1939 until the German occupation, he was posted as a test pilot to the Vojenský technický a letecky ústav [VTLÚ], the Aeronautical Research Centre for the Czechoslovak Air Force, at Letňany airbase, Prague.

The Germans occupied Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939. The Czechoslovak President, Emil Hacha,ordered all Czechoslovak military to stand down, remain in their barracks and not resist the occupation. The Germans disbanded the Czechoslovak military and all personnel were dismissed. Just four days later, on 19 March 1939, former Senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defence of the Nation]. Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers to get to neighbouring Poland where they could be formed into military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from Czechoslovakia’s Ostrava region.

Prostějov graduates 1932.

To Poland

Miloslav was one of the many Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers who saw that it was their patriotic duty to go to Poland from where they could participate in efforts to achieve the liberation of Czechoslovakia. On 3 June 1939, with the assistance of the two underground organisations, Miloslav travelled with five other ex-Czechoslovak Air Force airmen, by train to Ostrava. This was in south east Czechoslovakia and adjacent to the Český Těšín region which had been annexed by Poland following the Munich Agreement of September 1939. There they were met by a former presidential guard who guided them to the Polish border from where they crossed into Poland. Shortly after crossing the border they were detained by Polish police and taken to the local Police Station. Here their details were taken and as the Police station was small and unable to accommodate the six, they were permitted, under parole not to try and return to Czechoslovakia, to leave the Police station and stay in a nearby hotel that night. The following day they returned to the Police station and were taken to Těšín Police station for further questioning. They were there for a week before they were released and travelled to Krakow where they reported for duty at the Czechoslovak Consulate.

In Poland, Miloslav, like all the other escapees from Czechoslovakia, found that there was no enthusiasm from the Polish authorities to have Czechoslovak military units assembled on their territory as the Poles had no wish to provoke neighbouring Nazi Germany. This Polish attitude caused some of the Czechoslovak escapees to become discontented and disillusioned, with some considering returning to their homeland. Fortunately, patriotic speeches by General Ludvík Svoboda, a Legionnaire veteran from WW1 and Senator Vojtěch Beneš, brother of former Czechoslovak President Eduard Beneš, now exiled in in Britain, averted this return.

Instead, negotiations between the Czechoslovak Consulate, Krakow, and the French authorities resulted in the offer that the Czechoslovak escapees would be allowed to travel to France. However as French law did not permit foreign military units to be based on its soil in peacetime, the Czechoslovaks would be required to enlist in the French Foreign Legion for a period of five years but with the promise that if war was declared the Czechoslovaks would be released from their French Foreign Legion service and could enter into French military units. The alternative was that Czechoslovaks who would not accept these terms would be returned by the Polish authorities to Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further reprisals to their families.

In the interim, whilst arrangements were made for their journey to France, they were transferred to Małe Bronowice, a former Polish army barracks on the outskirts of Krakow. With other Czechoslovak military colleagues, Miloslav left Małe Bronowice by train for the Polish Baltic port of Gdynia where, on 17 June 1939, they boarded the ‘Sobieski’ which sailed, via Dover, where the Czechoslovak military were not permitted to disembark, to Boulogne in France, arriving on 19 June.

With fellow Czechoslovak escapees, Summer 1939.

France:

The Czechoslovak escapees were met at Boulogne by the Air Attaché from the Czechoslovak Consulate, Paris. Each escapee was given 20 francs to cover their immediate needs and after two days there, they went by train to Palace Bollard, Paris, the Legion’s recruitment centre. Here medical examinations were undertaken, documentation completed and elementary French lessons given. On 26 June, Miloslav joined the French Foreign Legion, at the rank of Soldat and transferred to Fort St Jean at Marseille. On 31 June, they boarded the ‘Sobieski’, a transport ship which sailed to Oran, Algeria, and then onto the Legion’s training base at training base at Sidi-bel-Abbès, , where they were assigned to the 1st Battalion of their 1st Regiment.

French Foreign Legion, with fellow Czechoslovaks, Siddi-bel-Abbes, Summer 1939.

When WW2 was declared by the Allies, the Czechoslovak Air Force airmen were transferred to l’Armée de l’Air. In Miloslav’s case, this was to Oran and then Blida, their training bases in Algeria. On 27 November 1939 they returned to mainland France for further training at CIC Châteauroux about 230 km south-west of Paris. On 8 February 1940 he was posted for further training to Istres airbase, 60 km northwest of Marseilles. He returned to Algeria, on 21 May 1940, at the rank of Caporal Chef, when he was posted for bomber training on obsolete twin-engined MB-200, which he knew from the Czechoslovak Air Force, and later the more modern MB-210 aircraft at Tafaraoui airbase, about 20km south of Oran.

The war on mainland France was going badly for the Allies and French capitulation was imminent. In Oran, the Czechoslovak airmen learned that Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, appealed to all the evacuated Czechoslovak airmen to come to Britain and continue their fight against the Germans from there. The Armée de l’Air released the Czechoslovak airmen from their service and told them to report to British Officers who would assist with arrangements to get them by train to Casablanca, Morocco, and then to Britain.

From Oran, the Czechoslovak airmen travelled for four days by train across the Sahara Desert to Casablanca from where they boarded the ‘Gib-el-Dersa’ which sailed at 15:12 on 29 June 1940, to Gibraltar, arriving at 11:00 on 30 June. Here they changed ships to the ’Neuralia’ and sailed on 2 July, in a convoy of about another 30 ships, for Liverpool, arriving on 12 July 1940. Like most of the Czechoslovaks, Miroslav’s path first led to the Czechoslovak resettlement camp at Cholmondeley Park, near Chester.

RAF:

The Battle of Britain was now in progress and there was an urgent need for fighter pilots. As a trained pilot he was quickly admitted to the voluntary reserves of the RAF, at the rank of AC2, on 25 July and transferred to the Czechoslovak RAF Depot, Cosford, for training and English lessons. On 21 September, having reached the standard required by the RAF, and also promoted to Sgt, he was posted to 6 OTU at Sutton Bridge for re-training onto Hurricanes. He completed his re-training on 5 October 1940 and was posted to 111 Sqn at Drem in Scotland.

Two days later he made his first flight with the squadron, flying Hurricane V7365, with fellow Czechoslovak Sgt Otmar Kucera for a 30min formation flight led by P/O Peter Simpson. Four further training flights, including dog-fighting, beam and head-on attacks and gun firing were undertaken for the next four days. His first operational flight in the Battle of Britain came on 13 October when he was scrambled at 13:05, a flight that lasted 45 minutes but during which no enemy aircraft sighted.

With 111 Sqn, together with P/O Peter J. Simpson (Yellow 1) and fellow Czechoslovak Sgt Otmar Kucera, (Yellow 2) and himself flying Hurricane V7361 (Yellow 3), Miloslav achieved his first combat success with a shared victory of a He III at around 13:10 on 13 November 1940. The German plane was flying at 750 feet and crashed into the North Sea about 30 miles East of Aberdeen. Miloslav’s combat report of this interception is:

I was flying Yellow 3 when our section was told to intercept bandit flying SE about 5 miles out to sea off Aberdeen. I heard Yellow 1 shout ‘Tally ho’ and remained in my position until after his attack in case e/a turned to port. I went into attack, after Yellow 2, and saw my bullets entering fuselage and main plane of e/a. In my second attack which was from astern after my first attack the rear gunner stopped firing after Yellow 1 had finished his third attack from the beam. I also followed up a with a beam attack allowing plenty of deflection and letting e/a go right I had full sight. I had quite a little ammunition left so did another attack from astern. I broke away and after a little while e/a sank into the sea.

The three 111 Sqn Hurricanes, were undamaged in the combat and landed back at Dyce at 13:40, having fired a total of 5990 rounds in that combat.

With Otmar Kučera, 111 Sqn, October 1940.

Miloslav was promoted to the rank of W/O on 1 March 1941 and seeking more operational activity he volunteered for night-fighting, resulting in his posting, on 23 April 1941, to 54 OTU at Church Fenton for training on twin-engine night-fighters. He was commissioned at the rank of P/O on 14 July 1941 and five days later was posted, to 68 Sqn at High Ercoll, near Telford, Shropshire. They were commanded by W/Cdr John ‘Max’ Aitken, DSO, DFC, and were equipped with twin-engined Beaufighter night-fighters.

His 1st operational night patrol with the squadron was on the night of 3/4 August. Later, on the night of 11 December Miloslav achieved his 1st combat success with 68 Sqn when he shot down two He IIIs from III /KG 40 and damaged a third. Promotion to the rank of F/O came on 14 June 1942. On 22 October 1943, he was promoted to the rank of F/Lt and assigned as Deputy Flight Commander for ‘B’ Flight.

With 68 Sqn airmen showing their new squadron badge.

On completion of his operational tour, he was posted, on 15 May 1943 as an instructor to 51 OTU at Cranwell. On 6 September he was posted to 3 Flying Instructors School at Castle Coombe. He returned to 68 Sqn, now at Coltishall, on 10 October 1943, commencing his 2nd operational tour. On 10 October was appointed ‘A’ Flight Commander until 1 May 1945. In July 1944, the squadron was re-equipped with Mosquito NF XVII fighters.

He was the most successful twin-engined Czechoslovak fighter pilot of WW2, achieving a total of 8 confirmed kills, 2 probables, an E-boat probable and 2 V1s in 488 operational flying hours, 386 of which were at night. On 1 June 1945, Miroslav was promoted to the rank of S/Ldr and he returned to Czechoslovakia on 16 August 1945.

Post WW2:

Miloslav remained in the Czechoslovak Air Force and initially was posted to their Air Force Headquarters at Prague. On 1 February 1946 he was appointed Commander of the 24 Squadron of the 1st Air Regiment at Plzeň. Later that year, from 10 May to 13 July, with 12 other Czechoslovak pilots, he returned to the UK to attend Course 136 at 13 OTU at RAF Middleton St George for retraining on Mosquito FB.Mk.VI aircraft.

Having completed the course, he returned to Czechoslovakia. On 28 October 1946 Miloslav promoted to the rank of Staff Captain and posted as instructor at C-3 retraining course at České Budějovice airbase. Between December 1946 and May 1947 he was sent to England three times to collect Mosquito PRP aircraft and ferry them back to Czechoslovakia. He was then posted to the 3rd Air Regiment at Brno airbase.

Plžen 1947.

Communism:

The rising power of communism was beginning to emerge in Czechoslovakia during 1947 and from that November Miroslav, with his Western views, was , becoming alienated from his pro-Communist superiors. This culminated, after the Communist coup d’état of February 1948, with him being placed on special leave on 12 April, to remove him from an active role in the Czechoslovak Air Force. Miroslav was aware that when he was placed on waiting leave, on 1 June, this was now just a matter of time before he would be arrested by the StB, tried on fabricated charges of being politically unreliable as he had served in the West during WW2 and was now classed as an ‘undesirable’ person in Communist Czechoslovakia. The usual Court outcome following such charges was to be sentenced to imprisonment.

To avoid that situation, Miloslav, along with fellow former RAF colleagues Jaroslav Doležal, Karel Pošta, Stanislav Peroutka and Václav Raba crossed at night through the forests at Sumava, over the border to the American Zone of Germany. To enable them to see each other in the dark they wore white bands on their jackets.

On 17 July the Czechoslovak Air Force declared that he was a deserter, demoted him from his rank of Staff Captain to a private and stripped him of his Czechoslovak medals.

In Germany they had to undergo security checks with the American authorities and once cleared were permitted to travel to England, in July. Initially they were based at RAF Cosford, whilst they decided on their future; whether to rejoin the RAF or join the Air Forces of Canada or Australia. Miloslav chose to re-join the RAF, and upon acceptance, at his former rank of S/Ldr, was posted to 13 Sqn, a photo-reconnaissance unit equipped with Mosquito PR Mk 34 aircraft. With this squadron he flew operationally in Egypt and Cyprus. In 1952 the squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Meteor PR Mk 10 jets. On 1 January 1953 he was awarded the Air Force Cross for his Middle East Service and later, on 13 June 1957 he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.

Civvy Street:

He retired from the RAF on 30 September 1958, and so, after 28 years of military service, he returned to civilian life. He joined Beaverbrook Newspapers, owned by press mogul Lord Beaverbrook, the father of Max Aitkin, his former Commanding Officer in 68 Sqn during WW2. There Miloslav was Distribution Manager for their Daily Express newspaper until his retirement in 1970.

During his retirement he was actively involved with the Czechoslovak RAF exiles community who had also escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia and had now rebuilt their lives in the West. Following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in November 1989, he returned to his homeland in June 1991 for the Memorial Air Show at Roudnice nad Labem where he met many of his former RAF colleagues who had lived in Communist Czechoslovakia. His health was failing which meant that he was unable to attend the RAF Rehabilitation Ceremony in Prague on 13 September 1991. Instead, on 10 September, the Defence Attaché from the Czech Embassy, London, visited him in hospital at Hampstead, London, to present him with his Rehabilitation Certificate and inform him that he had been awarded the rank of Major General in the Czechoslovak Air Force.

In retirement with fellow former Czechoslovak RAF airmen, London.

Miloslav Mansfeld, died in hospital on 21 October 1991, aged 78. He is interred in the Czechoslovak ex-Servicemen’s section at Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey.


Medals:-

British:

Distinguished Service Order

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Force Cross

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp

Air Crew Europe Star with Atlantic clasp

Defence Medal

War Medal

Czechoslovak:

Válečný kříž 1939 and 4 bars

Za chrabrost and 4 bars

Za zásluhy I.stupně

Pamětní medaile se štítky F–VB

Za svobodu II. tř.

Remembered:

Czech Republic:

Prague:

Prague – Klárov:

In November 2017, his name, along with the names of 2512 other Czechoslovak men and women who had served in the RAF during WW2, was unveiled at the Winged Lion Monument at Klárov, Prague.


A street in the Černý Most suburb of Prague is named “Mansfeldova” in his honour.

Great Britain:

He is commemorated, along with the other 2938 Battle of Britain aircrew, on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at the National Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent:


He is also commemorated on the London Battle of Britain Memorial:


Posted in 68 Sqd, Ace, Battle of Britain, Biography, Not Forgotton, Other RAF Squadrons, Poland, Victim of Communism | 1 Comment

Wellington Z8838 Remembered


Vzpomínka na Wellington Z8838


After a long postponement due to Covid-19, the crash-site of 311 Sqn Wellington Z8838 was finally commemorated at Middenmeer, Holland on 9 October 2021. The event was the instigation of the Hollands Kroon Association in cooperation with the Historic Association Wieringermeer group, Holland.

Po dlouhé pauze způsobené pandemií Covid19 proběhla 9. října 2021 v Middenmeeru v Holandsku, na místě havárie bombardéru Wellington Z8838 od 311. perutě, pietní vzpomínka. Konala se z popudu Hollands Kroon Association ve spolupráci s holandskou Historic Association Wieringermeer group.

The event commenced at the Cultuurschuur in Wieringerwerf where recovered artefacts from Z8833 were displayed.

Akce začala v Cultuurschuur ve čtvrti Wieringerwerf, kde jsou vystaveny pozůstatky tohoto stroje.

Fred de Vries, vice chairman of the Historic Association Wieringermeer welcomed the invited guests which included Katerina Sequensova, Ambassador of the Czech Embassy for Holland, Jozef Kušita, Deputy Head of Mission at the Slovak Embassy, Holland, with intern Peter Mikula from his Embassy, Rian van Dam, Mayor of Hollands Kroon, Harry Doesberg representing FCAFA ltd, Czech and Slovak media, members of the Historic Association Wieringermeer group and former Dutch military personnel.

Fred de Vries, vicepresident Historic Association Wieringermeer, přivítal hosty, mezi nimiž byli Kateřina Sequensová, velvyslankyně České republiky v Holandsku, Jozef Kušita, zástupce velvyslance Slovenské republiky v Holandsku spolu s asistentem Peterem Mikulou, Rian van Dam, primátor Hollands Kroon, Harry Doesberg za FCAFA ltd., česká a slovenská média, členové Historic Association Wieringermeer group a bývalí příslušníci holandských ozbrojených sil.

Afterwards, a commemoration ceremony was held at the Remembrance post, erected by the Historic Association Wieringermeer, adjacent to Wellington Z8828 crash site at nearby Middenmeer.

Po ukončení pietní části proběhla vzpomínková ceremonie u pomníku Historic Association Wieringermeer věnovaného posádce Wellingtonu Z8838. Stojí na místě jeho zkázy v nedalekém Middenmeeru.

Attending were the invited guests, Czech and Slovak media, members of the Historic Association Wieringermeer group, local well-wishers and an Honour Guard formed from former Dutch military personnel.

Zúčastnili se jí pozvaní hosté, česká a slovenská média, členové Historic Association Wieringermeer group a místní příznivci. Čestnou stráž drželi bývalí příslušníci holandských ozbrojených sil.

The National Anthems of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Dutch were played on the bugle by Dirk Bak.

Zazněly hymny České a Slovenské republiky a holandská hymna zahrané na křídlovku.

Wreaths were laid by Czech Ambassador Sequensova, Slovak Deputy Head of Mission Jozef Kušita, Harry Doesburg and Mayor Rian van Dam, on behalf of the people of Hollands Kroon, with further bouquets laid by Dutch well-wishers.

Věnce zde položila česká ambasadorka v Holandsku Kateřina Sequensová, zástupce ambasadora Slovenské republiky Jozef Kušita, Harry Doensburg za FCAFA ltd. a Rian van Dam za Holladns Kroon a další příznivci.

Dirk Bak then played the Last Post.

Dirk Bak pak zahrál the Last Post.

The ceremony was closed by Mayor Rian van Dam, thanking all for attending and remembering the six Czechoslovak airmen who were killed when Wellington Z8838 had crashed at that spot on 11 April 1942.

Ceremonii uzavřel primátor Rian van Dam. Poděkoval všem za účast a vzpomínku na šest Čechoslováků, kteří při havárii stroje Wellington Z8838 na tomto místě padli.

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On the cloudy night of 10 April, 1942, eight Wellington aircraft of 311 Sqn took-off from East Wretham, around 22:00 for a bombing mission on Essen, Germany. Of these only one reached the target and dropped its bombs. Two others, unable to find locate the target, instead bombed secondary targets. The other five Wellingtons, were unable to reach their designated target due to icing and engine trouble and so turned for home and jettisoned their bombs.

V zamračené noci 10. dubna 1942 odstartovalo kolem desáté hodiny osm strojů Wellington 311. perutě z RAF East Wretham k útoku na německý Essen. Jen jednomu z nich se podařilo dostat nad cíl a shodit zde své bomby. Další dva nedokázaly cíl najít a shodily bomby na náhradní cíle. Dalších pět strojů mělo problémy nejen s nalezením cíle, ale také s námrazou a motory. Odhodily proto bomby nouzově a vrátily se zpět na základnu.

One of those five Wellingtons was Mk Ic Z8838, KX-Z, was Captained by F/Sgt Josef Kalensky, pilot, Sgt Karel Kodes, co-pilot , F/O Karel Rychnovsky, navigator, Sgt Josef Politzer radio-operator, Sgt Jan Peprnicek, front-gunner and Sgt Josef Hrdina, rear-gunner. They had taken-off at 22:01. At 23:30 a radio message was received from Z8838 that they were approaching Essen.

Jedním z těchto pěti strojů byl Wellington Mk Ic Z8838, KX-Z. Jeho posádku tvořili kapitán F/Sgt. Josef Kalenský, pilot Sgt. Karel Kodeš, druhý pilot F/O Karel Rychnovský, navigátor Sgt. Josef Politzer, radiooperátor a přední střelec Sgt. Jan Peprníček a zadní střelec Sgt. Josef Hrdina.

At 00:08, Politzer radioed to base that they had engine trouble and were returning to base. Shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed following an attack by a Luftwaffe Me-110 night fighter, 2½ miles east of Kolhorn in the Northern Netherlands at 00:20 hours 11/04/42.The enemy aircraft was probably being flown Hptm Helmut Lent of II/NJG2, who claimed a Wellington shot down at 00:23 hours south east of Den Helder.

V 00:08 odeslal Politzer na základnu zprávu, sdělující, že mají problémy s motorem a vrací se na základnu. Krátce potom se po útoku nočního stíhače Luftwaffe, stroje Me-110, tento Wellington zřítil dvě a půl míle do Kolhornu v severním Holandsku. Stalo se tak v 00:20, dne 11. dubna 1942. Nepřátelským stíhačem byl pravděpodobně Hptm. Helmut Lent z II/NJG2, který si nárokoval sestřel Wellingtonu v 00:23 jihovýchodně od Den Helder.

All of the Wellington’s crew were killed and buried at Huisduinen near Den Helder, Holland. F/Sgt Josef Kalensky, Sgt Karel Kodes, F/O Karel Rychnovsky, Sgt Jan Peprnicek, and Sgt Josef Hrdina were interred in a communal grave and Sgt Josef Politzer in a separate grave.

Celá posádka stroje při havárii zahynula a byl pohřbena v Huisduinen nedaleko Den Helder v Holandsku. F/Sgt. Josef Kalenský, Sgt. Karel Kodeš, F/O Karel Rychnovský, Sgt. Jan Peprníček a Sgt. Josef Hrdina byli uloženi ve společném hrobě, Sgt. Josef Politzer do vlastního hrobu.

In 2004 the remains were re-interred, again five in a communal grave and one separate grave, at the CWGC cemetery at Bergen-op-Zoom, a town in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, 40 kilometres north-west of Antwerp (Belgium).

V roce 2004 byly jejich ostatky vyzvednuty a přemístěny na hřbitov CWGC v Bergen-op-Zoom v provincii Noord-Brabant v Holandsku. Oněch pět bylo uloženo znovu do společného hrobu a Sgt. Josef Politzer byl opět pohřben samostatně.



_______________________________________________________________


More information about the work of the Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon foundation here.

Více informací o činnosti Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon foundation najdeten zde

Posted in 311 Sqd, Ceremony, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment